A Quarterly Newsletter for Our Community Members with Disabilities

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Spring/Summer 2013 CommunicAbility Vol. 13, Ed. 2

New Horizons Un-Limited Inc. (NHU) is a non-profit organization based in Milwaukee with a mission to make information and life experiences accessible to people with life-long disabilities, their families and caregivers. To learn more about our mission and activities, please visit the New Horizons Un-Limited website at www.new-horizons.org or e-mail horizons@new-horizons.org.

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."

- Aristotle

Strengthen your mind, body, and soul with Yoga

"Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured." - B.K.S. Iyengar

yo.ga: a system of exercises that incorporates a series of postures and breathing techniques aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility.

Don’t let the postures deter you! There are many variations of yoga that can benefit even the most inflexible or immobile individuals. The benefits of Yoga transcend the physical. Sure you’ll feel stronger, and possibly even lose a few pounds, but the true benefit of Yoga has much more to do with presence and peace of mind.

The idea is to put yourself in a state of relaxation and meditation. Your body moves with your breath. You breathe and stretch as deeply as is comfortable for you.

Chair Yoga is a great starting place for beginners or those who have limitations in their mobility. All movements are done from a seated position, but still incorporate the breathing patterns that help you reach a relaxed physical and mental state.

While practicing Yoga, you might consider listening to soothing music and perhaps surrounding yourself with a scent that you find relaxing and/or pleasant.

Here are some basic chair yoga poses to get you started.

Forward Bend: Breathe in as you bend forward, breathe out and let your head and arms hang over your knees. Hold for a few seconds while breathing normally. Breathe in as you slowly come back up to seated position.

Spinal Twist: Facing forward, place your left hand on the outside of your right knee. Place your right arm over the back of the chair. Breathe in and out as you twist your torso and head to the right. Push against your right knee to create more leverage. Hold the position. Release slowly and come back to facing forward and repeat on the opposite side.

Side Stretch: Sit facing forward with feet slightly apart, breathe in, and raise your arms out to the sides. Breathe out and bend to the left, reaching toward the floor with your left hand and your right hand pointing toward the ceiling. Breathe in come back to starting position. Repeat with your right side.

Sun Pose: Sit with your legs apart and arms by your side. Breathe in and with a sweeping motion bring your arms up over your head. Look up and stretch. Breathe out while bending forward between your legs and put your palms on the floor. Slowly breathe in while raising back up with arms over head again, then lower your arms to the side.

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Can you “think” yourself to less stress, more happiness?

Do you remember that Saturday Night Live skit “Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley” from the 1990s? "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me."

While SNL took a very satirical, rather silly take on daily affirmations, there is something to be said about the power of positive thinking, particularly when it comes to addressing personal issues and managing stress.

So, what exactly is an affirmation? Affirmations are powerful daily statements of intent that are unique to each individual. It can be a general positive statement, such as the one delivered by Mr. Smalley, or it can be a very specific intent that addresses a specific personal issue. Either way, the idea is that if repeated often enough, an individual will absorb the positivity and power contained in these statements and transform their everyday thought processes.

The “self improvement” idea is not new. One of the most well known classic self help books is “The Power of Positive Thinking,” a New York Times Best Seller, written by Norman Vincent Peale that was published in 1952. Mr. Peale believed strongly that if you “change your thoughts, you change your world.”

While this statement is rather ideal, and positive intentions alone will most likely not solve all of our problems, nor completely transform our everyday lives, they may help us address our issues with a fresh perspective. They may encourage us to see another angle, or possibly even brush off the small, nagging “stuff” that seems to hang around.

In the end it is up to you to decide. If you feel positive intentions will help you move through your day with a more positive approach, then do them.

Here are a few intentions that may click with you.

  • Following my intuition and my heart keeps me safe and sound.
  • I have every bit as much brightness to offer the world as the next person.
  • I let go of my anger so I can see clearly.
  • I choose to find hopeful and optimistic ways to look at this.
  • I refuse to give up because I haven’t tried all possible ways.
  • I choose friends who approve of me and love me.
  • I bet today will be a day to remember. Let me go and greet it.
  • I fill this day with hope and face it with joy.
  • I let go of my fears, worries that drain my energy for no good return.
  • Every problem has a solution, and I seek my solution with resolve.
  • I attempt all – not some – possible ways to get unstuck.
  • I believe in my ability to unlock the way and set myself free.
  • I compare myself only to my highest self.
  • Giving up is easy and always an option so I will delay it for another day.

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    Get your free lifetime “Access Pass” to nature today

    "Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better…" - Albert Einstein

    It’s widely known that an escape from the daily grind of life provides great health benefits. In particular, an escape to nature provides a stress free, peaceful time for rejuvenation and reflection; a time to just “be” - without distractions.

    There are miles and miles of wheelchair accessible trails and millions of acres of trees, wildflowers and wildlife just waiting for you!

    Now, imagine having FREE, lifetime access to more than 2000 federal parks and recreation sites throughout the United States! It can be yours with an Access Pass!

    To qualify, you must have a permanent physical, mental, or sensory impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Passes can either be obtained via mail (a small processing fee will apply) or via a recreation site near you.

    For more information on how to obtain an Access Pass, visit: store.usgs.gov/pass/access.html.

    "Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play with your hair." - Khalil Gibran

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    10th Annual NHU Benefit Golf Outing

    Thank You Golfers and Sponsors

    While Mother Nature wasn’t having her best day, our golfers were undeterred, coming out in force to celebrate our 10th year of hosting our Annual Benefit Golf Outing on June 5th.

    As a grassroots, non-profit organization our golf outing is the backbone of our annual fundraising campaign! We simply could not carry out our mission of serving our community members with disabilities were it not for the generosity of our corporate sponsors and golfers. Thank you for valuing our mission and for making an investment in the futures of our community members with disabilities!

    Please join us in thanking
    our sponsors!

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    Self Renewal Word Search

    The changing of seasons is a perfect time for reflection and contemplation. It is a time to shed ourselves of the haze that has clouded our souls; the self doubt that has blocked our paths; the obstacles that have halted our progress. Now is the time to live life to the fullest! Now get to it!!


    Self Renewal Word Search
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